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448 pages, Kindle Edition
First published November 30, 2020
“But I do know this: all of Thornchapel is a threshold of sorts, and when you are there, you are one too. I became a gate, a tabernacle, and an altar. A holiness of lanky limbs and angry lust, and a hallow of ink-stained fingers and unmet needs.”
“This is symbolic thinking we’re dealing with, and unfamiliar symbolic thinking at that, and symbolic thinking is entirely different from reasoning, it’s entirely different from the kind of rationale that we would use to build a supermarket.”
“And I feel like a king now when I walk to the door to die for my friends. There is power in this kind of submission. A power that means every part of me can be used for good—even the parts of me that would eat the world raw if left untrammeled. And maybe that is the lesson of the Year King, of the Babylonian kings who were slapped during Akitu, of monarchs who kneel to be anointed. Power must come with humility. They cannot be picked apart. They should not. I will not.”
“Surely it is hard enough to be one person, one whole person, who loves like normal people love, but to be this— to be the teeth in the dark and the hands that soothe— and to not even be that properly? Because I want to hold everyone I love inside me and hollow myself out so they can nestle right against my bloody ribs, but how can I trust myself to do that? Why should anyone trust me to do that when I know exactly what kind of man I am, what bruises I long to leave?”
“Her father had been right—love was quantum. Love was multi-dimensional, alchemical, complex, and the alternative was void, the frozen absolute zero of the deepest space. Nothingness. If vulnerability, if trust and intimacy, brought the risk of pain with it—well. Wasn’t that better than a life at zero degrees Kelvin, feeling nothing, loving nothing, unharmed maybe, but unknown and unseen to anyone? Wasn’t it better to be known? Better to be seen?"